9 Unusual Things to Do on Peaks Island, Maine

Ask the local Mainers, and theyll tell you that there’s only one thing to do on Peaks Island (find sea glass), but I found 9 unusual things to do on Peaks Island, Maine.

Peaks Island is a short ferry ride out of Portland, Maine, on the Casco Bay ferry system and here is the Casco Bay ferry schedule. In the summer you can ferry your car, your self or your bike to the island, but really you only need your feet.

Mainers go to Peaks Island to collect sea glass, but here’s 9 unusual things I did on Peaks Island. 

The Peaks Island sign is a welcome to all visitors and residents
The Peaks Island sign is a welcome to all visitors and residents

1. Rent a golf cart on Peaks Island.

Once you disembark from the ferry, head straight up the street and take a left at the ice cream store. Just down on the left, you should see Mike sitting in a folding chair renting golf carts. It’s best to make a reservation, as his cheap rates at about $50/hr sell out all summer. If you don’t have a reservation, he’ll put you on a wait list and call you on your cell if you’re around. Download the printable map of where to go, or Mike can give you a copy. If he’s sold out, there’s another cart rental around the corner. See the image above for more details.

2. Rent a recycled bike.

A ride around the island will only take you about an hour. It’s about 5 miles around Peaks Island and perfect for a bike ride. You can rent a recycled bike for about $20/hour. From the ferry, go up the ramp, take a left, and the recycled bike shop is down on the right near the coffee shop. The bikes are fantastic, and if you need to repair a bike on Peaks Island, you can do that too.

3. After your bike around the Peaks Island, you must stop in the world’s only Umbrella Cover Museum.

Nancy, the proprietor with a genuine love for the mundane, shines through her dead-pan personality as she offers up a tour of her Guinness Book of World Record’s collection of umbrella covers. Win a Prize! See the Royal covers! Experience the International collection! And if you sing on tune to the umbrella cover theme song while she plays her accordion, you get to see the Sexy Covers! and the X-Rated Covers! The museum is free but there is a suggested donation of $5 per person, There is a very cute and small gift shop of the most umbrella earrings you’ll ever see in one place. I paid $15 for an overpriced pair, but the price was well worth Nancy’s lovely entertainment.

4. Hunt for sea glass.

After enjoying Nancy’s collection, go down to the beach and walk the tide line. You’ll find the well-known sea glass, but if the tide is out, you might even stumble upon some low tide pools. In addition, you’ll see millions and millions of pieces of broken mussel shells. They make the most beautiful collage of blues you’ve ever seen. There are several places on Peaks to find sea glass. The closest place to the ferry dock is just past the marina to the left. Or, if you want a bit of a walk, make your way to Picnic Point to the right of the ferry. If you’ve rented a bike, you can peddle all the way to backshore and find sea glass there, too. Low tide is the best time to hunt for sea glass on Peaks. Check the tide schedules here.

5. If you’ve brought your bathing suit, head back up to the pier and jump off.

Depending on the tide, you might enjoy a thrilling jump of 25 feet into the chilly Casco Bay. Jumping into the bay from the dock seems like a right of passage for the local Peaks Island residents. The water is deep enough to catch your fall, and there are no less than 5 ladders on the pier to climb yourself up. Go ahead, act like a teenager and jump in. After walking around the island, you’ll find the chilly water refreshing.

Jumping from Peaks Island is a local rite of passage

6. Find the Peaks Island Weather Rock. 

If kitsch is your thing, you’ll love the Peaks Island Weather Rock. Predicting the weather based on fuzz, moisture, and heat, the rock will let you know exactly what the weather forecast is for Peaks Island Maine. You can find it by making your way to the backshore either by golf cart, bike or foot. It’s almost exactly half way around the island and a good excuse to circumnavigate all of Peaks Island.

The Peaks Island weather rock is a fun find on the backshore.

7. Catch the sunset on Peaks Island.

Where’s the best place to catch the sunset on Peaks Island. Some people will say its at the marina. But if you want to do it the locals’ way, head to Picnic Point. From the ferry, go the right. Head up the hill. Follow the signs that say “Ocean”. At the bottom of the next hill, follow the dirt road and then trail to Picnic Point. Or just google “picnic point on peaks” and your GPS will take you there as well. You’ll have a fine view of Portland, Casco Bay and the sunset. It’s a perfect private place to put yourself.

The sunsets on Peaks Island from Picnic Point can be outstanding.

8. Get some pizza alfresco.

Although many people to go Peaks Island for lobster, and there are many places to get lobster rolls, lobster mac n cheese, and lobster, you could instead enjoy the outdoor Neapolitan pizzeria under the trees and surrounded by fairy lights. As vegetarians, eating at Peaks Island pizza place, Il Leone, we loved the Asparagi pizza. But if you must have lobster, you can get a lobster pizza here too!

Peaks Island pizza at Il Leone just to the right of the ferry and down the street includes lobster pizza!

9. Art on Peaks Island for Purists.

As a bonus item, if you’re on Peaks on Wednesday or Sunday (or by appointment), check out the lovely art gallery run by Jane Banquer. Her place is a bit out of town and a pleasant walk from the ferry, but her lovingly crafted prints, etchings and paintings capture the true spirit of Peaks Island. If you’re luck enough to meet Jane, she might just explain her printing and engraving process. A must for artists, art lovers, and art wanna bes. Find her and her hours at City Points Studio.

The art inside at Jane Banquer’s studio is worth the walk.

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